Restaurant Review: The China Club

Sweet-toothed lovers of Chinese food will get their dirham’s worth with The China’s Club’s new dim sum lunch deal
Thursday , 28 July 2011
Little bites
Little bites
Dim sum
Dim sum
Steamed delights
Steamed delights
Dessert
Dessert

The China Club
Address:
Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, Baniyas Road
Tel: 04 205 7333
Web: www.radissonblu.com/hotel-dubaideiracreek
Price: $$$

We headed down to The China Club, one of 10 restaurants in Deira’s Radisson Blu Hotel, to try their new Dhs95 dim sum lunch. With claret weave covering the walls, high-backed chairs and dark woods, the place has that ‘old boy’s network’ vibe to it and as we waited for the dim sum trolley to arrive we could overhear business deals being sealed at the other tables.

The food was a gooey, chewy filing affair, quite different from the dim sum usually served in Chinese restaurants. New on the menu was glutinous rice balls rolled around a soft shrimp centre and a deep-fried platter for two comprising sesame balls (also glutinous) with a creamy nutty texture; pumpkin cake; a type of custard in sweet batter and home-style salted dumplings made with shredded marinated chicken encased in a doughnut-like glutinous shell. This was dim sum for the sweet-toothed.

There was also the classic deep-fried offerings: spring rolls, prawn wontons, chicken pastry rolls, and, rather randomly, calamari, which brought a taste of the Med to proceedings.

Feeling guilty, I switched to healthier steamed dim sum. The har gau (prawn dumplings) may have been frozen rather than homemade but were tasty enough, and the siew mai made with chicken and prawn instead of pork and prawn was a decent Middle Eastern interpretation.

Oriental desserts are often a surprise for the Western palette and the chilled coconut with tapioca-like sago pearls was no exception being less sweet than many of the mains. The mashed red bean paste with sliced dates turned out to be a thick smooth red bean soup powerfully sweetened with dates. If you’re not feeling adventurous vanilla ice cream with lychees is an option.

With the addition of soups, rice and noodle dishes also on this new lunch menu customers certainly get value for money and lots of choice in sweet and fried food. Service was a little too fast, with the flow of conversation interrupted a few times with an offer to pour another glass of water or take away another dish, but this tends to be the case in most dim sum diners, and the comforting décor helped counteract the pace.

I’ll certainly return, but with my waistline, I’ll be ordering a la carte next time.